“Focus on being useful, grateful, and valuable.”
If I had to take only one lesson from this book, let’s be useful, grateful, and valuable. This takeaway summarizes the essence of interaction and relationship development. Let’s be useful and helpful to the people we interact with. In the same manner, and no less important, let’s be grateful. Let’s recognize when someone does something for us and let them know our appreciation.
In our daily interactions, let’s constantly ask ourselves, “How can I add value to this person today?” (What’s in it for them?). This mindset will twist our interactions with people around us, making our relationships more meaningful and collaborative.
“There are a lot of ways to come up with value, but you have to actually deliver it for it to be worth anything.”
Although it may seem like an obvious message, the reality is that it’s easier said than done, especially for introverted people. How many of us have met with colleagues, had an idea or something to contribute, and decided not to say anything? This decision may be due to various reasons, such as you think that the idea is not that good, the meeting is a bit heated, and bringing up another point to the table can cause more conflict, or you prefer others to solve the problem because you don’t want to be involved if something goes wrong. Whatever the reason is for not speaking up, the value that could have been added at that moment does not exist and never did because it was never executed. This example is just one of many that could explain the importance of this message.
In her book “The Five Second Rule,” Mel Robbins tells us that when we have an idea, we should act on it in the next 5 seconds before our brain “protects” us by telling us that it’s too risky. We don’t have to complete the action, but we should take a small step at that precise moment that will later be more difficult to back up.
“If someone is drowning, you throw them the life jacket now. You don’t leave to go looking for one with the “right” color.”
Connected to the previous point, we usually want everything to be perfect before taking a step. We want to wait for the “perfect” moment to give a recommendation or make a decision, but that moment usually never comes. In the book written to entrepreneurs Master of Scale, Reid Hoffman tells us that if we’re not embarrassed by our first product, we launch it too late. Perhaps this is an extreme way of explaining it, but the message is that the ideal moment may never come. We must leap and adjust the sails along the way.
Depending on how comfortable we are with risk and uncertainty, this may or may not make sense to us, but when we see an example of life or death, as the author mentions, it makes 100% sense.
“Not being on social media is healthier for your brain than reading inspirational quotes on social media.”
This reference is from the lessons learned that Polish shared with us from the sabbatical he took while writing the book. Although we often find valuable information on social media, such as quotes, articles, and news from old friends, among other things, to extract this information, we spend too much time absorbing all kinds of irrelevant posts. In the process, we lose valuable time from activities aligned with our goals.
It’s not that we isolate ourselves completely, but we need control over disconnecting from the flow of information that often doesn’t give us space to create and think.
Application to Project Management: Human resources are becoming increasingly important in projects. If the team doesn’t have good interaction, if they don’t collaborate and share a common mission to achieve the project’s objective, it’s an uphill battle. As project managers, we must be facilitators, add value to our team members, remove obstacles, and be grateful. Imagine working on projects where each team member comes in daily, intending to be “useful, grateful, and valuable.”
“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Bernard Baruch
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Joseph Campbell
“Success is not only about who you spend time with—it’s also about who you consciously don’t waste time on.” Chris Voss
“Tiny Habits” BJ Fogg
“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Robert B. Cialdini
“Crucial Conversations” Joseph Grenny and Kerry Patterson